Toyota introduces hybrid engine in first 4Runner SUV update in 15 years

Debuting with a hybrid powertrain and new trims, the 2025 Toyota 4Runner retains its iconic design and capabilities. Nine trims will be available, including the Trailhunter and Platinum.

Powered by a turbo-4 engine, with hybrid options, the 2025 4Runner offers a variety of powertrains. The standard 2.4-liter turbo-4 generates 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque.

TRD Pro, Trailhunter, and Platinum models feature a hybrid version of the engine, producing 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Hybrid engines can also be added to TRD Off-Road and Limited models.

Equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the 4Runner maintains its off-road prowess while being modernized. The ninth-generation model rides on a modern frame while remaining a body-on-frame SUV.

Sharing the TNGA-F platform with other Toyota SUVs and pickups, the 2025 4Runner boasts enhanced structural integrity. This platform is also utilized by Lexus GX, Toyota Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Tacoma, and Tundra models.

Enhancing its performance, the updated powertrains allow for a tow rating of up to 6,000 pounds, maintaining rear-wheel drive as standard and offering optional part-time or full-time four-wheel drive.

Incorporating modern technology, the 4Runner now employs an electronically engaged four-wheel-drive system, commonly equipped with a limited-slip rear differential, while higher-tier models like TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter boast a rear locking differential.

Interestingly, exclusive to the top-tier Platinum variants is the full-time four-wheel drive with a locking center differential, which remains an optional feature on Limited models, maintaining its independent front suspension and coil rear springs alongside a solid rear axle.

For enhanced performance, TRD Pro models utilize 2.5-inch diameter Fox shocks with remote reservoirs to tackle heat dissipation, whereas the new Trailhunter model features ARB Old Man Emu 2.5-inch forged shocks with external piggyback remote reservoirs.

Underneath, the Trailhunter is equipped with a comprehensive set of skid plates covering everything from the front bumper to behind the transfer case, ensuring protection in case of contact with the ground, while its 33-inch Toyo Open Country All Terrain tires, paired with the shocks, grant it a 2.0-inch lift over standard 4Runners.

With 9.2 inches of ground clearance, a 32-degree approach, and a 24-degree departure angle, the latest 4Runner presents a variety of features. In comparison, the current 4Runner boasted 9.6 inches of ground clearance, a 33-degree approach, and a 26-degree departure angle.

The current 4Runner has a shorter 109.8-inch wheelbase, whereas the new model extends to 112.2 inches, promising improved ride quality. An available electronic disconnecting sway bar is set to enhance wheel articulation.

Observing the 4Runner, its identity as an SUV is unmistakable, maintaining its iconic design with distinctive flares and a tall greenhouse, while adopting elements from the Tacoma, notably in the front end.

Similarities in the headlights and grille shape are apparent, and while the non off-road models sport a large chin spoiler removable with nine bolts, its removal could marginally impact fuel efficiency. The nod to the first-gen 4Runner is evident in the wrap-around rear windows, and the tailgate glass electronically drops into the tailgate for accommodating longer items.

Both Trailhunter and TRD Pro variants incorporate Rigid LED fog lights and a central LED light bar, with the latter boasting an impressive 10,000 lumens output. Inside, the dashboard closely resembles that of the Tacoma, featuring either an 8.0- or 14.0-inch touchscreen prominently positioned.

Standard features include Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster, while higher trims boast a 12.3-inch display. While lower trim models are laden with hard plastic, upper trims elevate the interior with soft-touch materials and leather.

Hybrid models present a higher liftover height in the rear due to the battery pack, potentially complicating cargo loading, though the rear seat back manually reclines for comfort during long trips, and Platinum variants offer heated rear seats.

Options such as a head-up display enhance the driving experience, and Trailhunter models are equipped with a 2,400-watt inverter for off-road power needs. Across all 2025 4Runner models, standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams, with the option for blind-spot monitors.

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